LTH Home

Sour Beers

Sour Beers
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 4
  • Sour Beers

    Post #1 - March 18th, 2012, 10:19 am
    Post #1 - March 18th, 2012, 10:19 am Post #1 - March 18th, 2012, 10:19 am
    My obsession this summer will be sour beers. It's been decided. No talking me out of this one. I've been introducing friends to this stuff, and they have all become instantly enamored with it. I'm not a really big beer fan, I mostly stick with the flavorless Newcastle, Sol, or Pacifico. Once in a while on a summer day, I will seek out a weiss of some sort, but as far as hoppy ipa's, or stouts, or anything with beer flavor- I'm just generally not a fan. Scotches and tequilas are my poison of choice. This sour beer stuff tho. It's got me hooked.

    So anyway - buddy of mine from the left coast was in town, and we shared a few bottles of sour- forgot which one, and he was also an instant fan. He asked me for what I knew, and I sent him a list. He claims he cannot find any of them (his birthday is in a few weeks, I'm guessing his "search" has been a rather light effort, and him mentioning thaty he can't find any is more of a hint.) So, I webbed up a few liquor stores in his hood, and found one with a rather inspiring list of beers that have the word "sour" in the description, and fit the profile of my limited knowledge of what I think could be considered a "sour:" Belgian, 750 ml bottle (though I know plenty come in smaller,) and something about some fruit added at some point of the process? Follow me here with this. I'm a noob, and I'm not a beer fan, so I'm just kinda wingin it from my "research" which involves glancing at a website or two while re-hashing Arrested Development on NEtflix while waiting for wife 1.0 to fall asleep so I can switch to the sci-fi listings... Ok, so, I'm sending the buddy a 750 of each:
    Liefman's Goudenband
    Duchesse De Borgogne
    Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale
    Oud Beersel Oude Geuze Vieille

    I chose the above after checking out beeradvocate, and cross referencing with what's avail at the store I'll be buying from. Got me to thinking. Are all of these styles considered "Sour Beers?"
    1. Flanders Red Ale
    2. Flanders Oud Bruin
    3. Gueuze
    4. Saison / Farmhouse
    5. Any others?

    The store I'm purchasing from had this list which all had the word "sour" in the description, they are all Belgian I think, and for the most part come in a 750:
    Dupont Saison Dupont Ale
    Duchesse De Bourgogne
    Liefmans Cuvee Brut
    St Feuillien Saison
    Dupont Saison Dupont Ale
    Liefmans Goudenband
    Lindeman's Cuvee Rene
    Liefmans Fruitesse
    Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale
    Dupont Foret Saison Organic Ale
    Petrus Oud Bruin
    De Proef Saison Imperiale Ale
    Glazen Toren Saison D'Erpe Mere
    Oud Beersel Oude Geuze Vieille
    Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille
    (They also had several Rodenbachs, but all were out of stock)

    Goudenband, Duchesse, and Rodenbach Grand Cru I can find pretty easily. Are all of the above sours, and is there a store in the Chicagoland area somewhere with a strong selection of sours? My assumption would be that the joint around North and Clybourn would have a decent selection, haven't hit that place yet, but I'm wondering if someone's got a place in their back pocket for finding any of these. And if anyone can comment on any that might be up my creek - I like sour or dry, not looking for anything that would be described as sweet - example, those New Glarus things - the lambics, I think. Waayy too sweet. I really like the Duchesse, and the Liefmans Goudenband. I've had some that are far more sour than those, and enjoyed them very much, but I think Duchesse, and Goudenband would be the most "sweet" that I'd like to try, so, nothing sweeter than those - even though they are not really "sweet." I just don't really want anything much sweeter than that. Think I'm gonna bring this list to my Binny's and see what they have. The last time I went, my list was only 5 or 6 deep. The area in Binny's where I found the regular suspects (Goudenband, Grand Cru, Duchesse) had several other names on the shelf, but I simply had no clue what to look for. As I try new ones, I'll post here. Love to hear what others have to say as well.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #2 - March 18th, 2012, 11:11 am
    Post #2 - March 18th, 2012, 11:11 am Post #2 - March 18th, 2012, 11:11 am
    seebee wrote:I chose the above after checking out beeradvocate, and cross referencing with what's avail at the store I'll be buying from. Got me to thinking. Are all of these styles considered "Sour Beers?"
    1. Flanders Red Ale
    2. Flanders Oud Bruin
    3. Gueuze
    4. Saison / Farmhouse
    5. Any others?

    Saison/Farmhouse beers aren't often considered sours (to the best of my knowledge). They do tend to have some of that barnyard funk you might find in sours but none of the tartness or, well, sourness that you would also get. Some of the better saisons, produced locally, for me include Goose Island's Sofie, Revolution's Coup D'Etat (draft only) and Three Floyd's Rabid Rabbit (bottles should show up, briefly, in the next couple of weeks).

    Goudenband, Duchesse, and Rodenbach Grand Cru I can find pretty easily. Are all of the above sours, and is there a store in the Chicagoland area somewhere with a strong selection of sours? My assumption would be that the joint around North and Clybourn would have a decent selection, haven't hit that place yet, but I'm wondering if someone's got a place in their back pocket for finding any of these. And if anyone can comment on any that might be up my creek - I like sour or dry, not looking for anything that would be described as sweet - example, those New Glarus things - the lambics, I think. Waayy too sweet. I really like the Duchesse, and the Liefmans Goudenband. I've had some that are far more sour than those, and enjoyed them very much, but I think Duchesse, and Goudenband would be the most "sweet" that I'd like to try, so, nothing sweeter than those - even though they are not really "sweet." I just don't really want anything much sweeter than that. Think I'm gonna bring this list to my Binny's and see what they have. The last time I went, my list was only 5 or 6 deep. The area in Binny's where I found the regular suspects (Goudenband, Grand Cru, Duchesse) had several other names on the shelf, but I simply had no clue what to look for. As I try new ones, I'll post here. Love to hear what others have to say as well.


    The Lincoln Park Binny's would be a great place to start. If you can, talk to Adam, the beer manager -- he's big (really big) into sours and is always glad to help folks find new things (just don't ask him about limited/rare releases). He suggested I try an Italian brewery called LoverBeer. I had their Madamin and thought it was really tasty. A little pricey at $14/375mL bottle, but worth trying. West Lakeview Liquors is another must-stop - a smaller selection, but still with plenty of great options that Binny's doesn't carry. I picked up a few bottles from a Belgian brewery called Alvinne that I've really been enjoying.

    Another style to look for are wild ales. I think it's mostly an alias for sours but speaks more accurately to the fermentation product. Goose Island's Three Sisters (Lolita, Juliet and Madame Rose) are billed as Belgian Wild Ales and I do find them to be light on the sourness. Definitely tart with a very fruit-forward nose but not especially sweet, if that makes sense. Lolita is still around here and there while Juliet should be hitting shelves soon. My favorite, Madame Rose, has not been bottled yet this year (and may not at all - they tend to keep quiet when talking about production/release schedules).

    Jolly Pumpkin is another great brewery that deals largely with sours/wild ales. La Roja tends to be pretty regularly available that should give you a great idea of their style. You can occasionally find their stuff on draft, too, most likely at Local Option or even Jake Melnick's (yes, the TGIF-esque bar in River North -- a really strong beer list despite the decor and vibe).
    best,
    dan
  • Post #3 - March 18th, 2012, 12:11 pm
    Post #3 - March 18th, 2012, 12:11 pm Post #3 - March 18th, 2012, 12:11 pm
    As someone who has recently hopped on the sour beer bandwagon, I really appreciate this thread. It sounds like a trip to the LP Binnys is in my future.
  • Post #4 - March 18th, 2012, 3:46 pm
    Post #4 - March 18th, 2012, 3:46 pm Post #4 - March 18th, 2012, 3:46 pm
    Among sours, I've really been getting into gose lately. Particularly good on a hot summer day. It's a wheat beer, cloudy, light, but with distinctive sour overtones. It's a specialty of Liepzig, Germany, although some US craft brewers are starting to make it.

    Bayerischer Bahnhof Original Leipziger Gose is the quintessential example of the style. Look for the distinctive longneck bottle:
    Image
    (photo courtesy ratebeer.com)

    Somewhat relatedly, you might want to look for a Berliner Weisse, which Napoleon referred to "the Champagne of the North." It's often served with a little woodruff syrup poured in.
  • Post #5 - March 18th, 2012, 6:24 pm
    Post #5 - March 18th, 2012, 6:24 pm Post #5 - March 18th, 2012, 6:24 pm
    1. and 2. Flanders Red/brown Ale – Red is typically more sour (less sweet) than the brown, but unfortunately sometimes the beers you find are not true to style. My favorite in the style of the red is the cuvee des jacobins rouge. It’s available in 4 packs of 11.5 oz bottles, at binny’s or west lakeview liquors. New Belgium La Folie is sometimes labeled a flanders brown, but to me it’s simply an American sour as I don’t see how it meets the style description. Browns in general are more sweet.

    3. A Gueuze is a blended Lambic. The sweet fruit lambics you see around are not necessarily a good example of a true lambic, which doesn’t need fruit and is typically very dry. Cantillon is the king when it comes to lambics and gueze, but it’s nearly impossible to find. Also look for:
    boon,
    drie fonteinen,
    hanssens,
    oud bersel,
    de cam,
    mort subite,
    st. Louis…
    Most of which you will find from these are going to be very good.

    4. Saison / Farmhouse – A true saison, in the traditional sense would not necessarily be sour into the bottle, but would get sour through bottle ageing. If you want a GREAT saison that does become sour, look for fantome. This is an excellent beer both young and old, but I’ve found that the bottles don’t get sour unless you age them for at least a few months to a half a year. Sometimes you can get lucky and find a bottle on the shelf with some age.

    5. American wilds. Check out new Belgium lips of faith series. Petrus Aged pale is an Excellent bottle for the price (750ml for about $9). Anything from Jolly Pumpkin is very sour, typically complex, and some are my favorites. Berliner Weisse, and Gose, are the 2 german sour styles. Take a few trips to Hopleaf or Bad apple and chat about what sours are on tap. Visit West Lakeview Liquors, the sour selection there is really fun to look through. They typically have the most varied selection.

    Duchesse De Borgogne is sweet, you’re correct. Too sweet for me and a lot of sour fans I know.

    Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale – I would skip this one, it is WAY too sweet for most people, even people who love sweet Flemish reds. I also dislike the cherry lifesaver flavor in it.
    Last edited by laikom on March 18th, 2012, 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #6 - March 18th, 2012, 7:49 pm
    Post #6 - March 18th, 2012, 7:49 pm Post #6 - March 18th, 2012, 7:49 pm
    laikom wrote:Check out new Belgium lips of faith series.

    This is exactly what I was going to recommend - specifically, La Folie sour brown ale. I'm a fan.
  • Post #7 - March 18th, 2012, 9:46 pm
    Post #7 - March 18th, 2012, 9:46 pm Post #7 - March 18th, 2012, 9:46 pm
    All excellent info. Thanks. I've switched out the buddy's Monk's selection for a Jolly Pumpkin ES Barn:

    "Michigan- Saison / Farmhouse Ale- Pours a golden-copper color. An American interpretation of the style, delivering pronounced sour and funk notes with a solid hop and spice backbone. Earthy and tart all at once. Complex indeed!"
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #8 - March 19th, 2012, 11:34 am
    Post #8 - March 19th, 2012, 11:34 am Post #8 - March 19th, 2012, 11:34 am
    My favorite Sour beer is Drei Fontienen Oude Geuze. Like all Geuze, it is a blend of 1,2 and 3 year old Lambics. Drei Fontienen is a restaurant and brewery owned by the last of Belgium's traditional Geuze blending families. It is only made every few years (when the blender finds Geuze worthy Lambics), and is imported by Shelton Bros. You should check with West Lakeview Liquors about availability, since the Midwest Rep for Shelton also works (worked?) there. The beer is not as sour as some beers, and has a very fruity nose (like apples and peach blossoms). It is almost like a sauvignon blanc with an added touch of that wild yeast Belgian barnyard funk. It amazes me how such a fruity beverage can be produced from just grain. As you drink the bottle, the flavor profile changes as the beer breathes. I think it goes quite well with certain Thai dishes. The beer also ages well, getting mellower and more fruity with age. I have one bottle left from a case I bought 6 years ago.

    An interesting beer (if you can find it) is Cantillon Vigneronne, which is a Lambic with Muscat grapes added to it. Catillon also makes a Lambic aged in wine barrels.

    Some other sour beers imported by Shelton:
    De Ranke Cuvée de Ranke, Struise Earthmonk , Struiselensis Wild Ale, Cantillon Classic Gueuze, Haandbryggeriet Haandbakk (from Norway aged in wine barrels), Trois Dames Grand Dame Oud Bruin (Switzerland), Panil Barriquée (Italy)

    http://www.sheltonbrothers.com/beers/be ... ?BeerID=68
    http://www2.resto.be/minisites/driefont ... &langue=uk

    West Lakeview Liquors
    http://westlakeviewliquors.com
    (773) 525-1916
    2156 W Addison St, Chicago, IL
  • Post #9 - March 19th, 2012, 12:44 pm
    Post #9 - March 19th, 2012, 12:44 pm Post #9 - March 19th, 2012, 12:44 pm
    Publican always has some quality sours on their beer list as well.
  • Post #10 - March 19th, 2012, 12:48 pm
    Post #10 - March 19th, 2012, 12:48 pm Post #10 - March 19th, 2012, 12:48 pm
    jfibro wrote:Publican always has some quality sours on their beer list as well.

    The same is usually true of the Fountainhead and Owen & Engine.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #11 - March 19th, 2012, 3:23 pm
    Post #11 - March 19th, 2012, 3:23 pm Post #11 - March 19th, 2012, 3:23 pm
    We need to have another Thai Food / Sour Beer get together now that I am armed with some more knowledge!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #12 - March 19th, 2012, 4:24 pm
    Post #12 - March 19th, 2012, 4:24 pm Post #12 - March 19th, 2012, 4:24 pm
    seebee wrote:We need to have another Thai Food / Sour Beer get together now that I am armed with some more knowledge!
    I would definitely be up for that. Sour beers and Thai food have a remarkable symbiotic effect. I tried the combination on a whim, and was instantly hooked. It flies in the face of what most "experts" recommend. The conventional wisdom is to find a beer that does not interfere with the flavor of the food and provides enough refreshment to counter the heat, usually a crisp Pilsener or some innocuous lager or brown ale. The sour beers, on the other hand, combine with the Thai flavors to produce an entirely new taste. I think the effect is similar to how vinegar makes a grapefruit taste sweet.
  • Post #13 - March 19th, 2012, 5:29 pm
    Post #13 - March 19th, 2012, 5:29 pm Post #13 - March 19th, 2012, 5:29 pm
    d4v3 wrote:
    seebee wrote:We need to have another Thai Food / Sour Beer get together now that I am armed with some more knowledge!
    I would definitely be up for that. Sour beers and Thai food have a remarkable symbiotic effect. I tried the combination on a whim, and was instantly hooked. It flies in the face of what most "experts" recommend. The conventional wisdom is to find a beer that does not interfere with the flavor of the food and provides enough refreshment to counter the heat, usually a crisp Pilsener or some innocuous lager or brown ale. The sour beers, on the other hand, combine with the Thai flavors to produce an entirely new taste. I think the effect is similar to how vinegar makes a grapefruit taste sweet.

    Sounds great. The last one I attended was fantastic.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #14 - March 19th, 2012, 10:20 pm
    Post #14 - March 19th, 2012, 10:20 pm Post #14 - March 19th, 2012, 10:20 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    d4v3 wrote:
    seebee wrote:We need to have another Thai Food / Sour Beer get together now that I am armed with some more knowledge!
    I would definitely be up for that. Sour beers and Thai food have a remarkable symbiotic effect. I tried the combination on a whim, and was instantly hooked. It flies in the face of what most "experts" recommend. The conventional wisdom is to find a beer that does not interfere with the flavor of the food and provides enough refreshment to counter the heat, usually a crisp Pilsener or some innocuous lager or brown ale. The sour beers, on the other hand, combine with the Thai flavors to produce an entirely new taste. I think the effect is similar to how vinegar makes a grapefruit taste sweet.

    Sounds great. The last one I attended was fantastic.

    =R=
    That looks like a blast. It was at a dinner at TAC Quick hosted by REB and RAB back in 2009, that cemented my enthusiasm for the pairing. I had experimented with Thai food and the aforementioned '3 Fontienen Oude Geuze' before, but that particular night, there were some dishes that worked wonderfully with the sour Lambic. There was a sour curry that was especially revelatory in combination with the beverage. A whole meal chosen to complement Sour Ales, sounds phenomenal. I have just one bottle left of that case of 3 Fontienen Oede Geuze, (bottled Feb. 2005). I have been looking for a good excuse to crack it open. I am definitely ready for a sequel.
  • Post #15 - March 19th, 2012, 10:30 pm
    Post #15 - March 19th, 2012, 10:30 pm Post #15 - March 19th, 2012, 10:30 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    jfibro wrote:Publican always has some quality sours on their beer list as well.

    The same is usually true of the Fountainhead and Owen & Engine.

    =R=


    Longman & Eagle and Rootstock are worth checking as well, I believe they've both had sour beers every time I've been there (they've definitely had them every time I've felt like having one). Hopleaf, Map Room, and Quencher's will almost always have sours as well.

    Another store to check out would be the Vas Foremost at Milwaukee and California. They have a surprisingly good beer selection. Many sour beers are only available for a limited time, but in the past I've gotten the sours from Ommegang, Allegash, and other random breweries there. They frequently have beers you won't find at Binny's.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #16 - March 24th, 2012, 4:31 pm
    Post #16 - March 24th, 2012, 4:31 pm Post #16 - March 24th, 2012, 4:31 pm
    Attrill wrote:Another store to check out would be the Vas Foremost at Milwaukee and California. They have a surprisingly good beer selection. Many sour beers are only available for a limited time, but in the past I've gotten the sours from Ommegang, Allegash, and other random breweries there. They frequently have beers you won't find at Binny's.


    Yeah, Vas Foremost has an Allagash beer right now aged in red wine barrels with Brettanomyces, for example. Sour beers tend to be on the pricy side, though.

    Definitely hit Local Option, where they seem to reserve 2 or 3 of their 31 taps for sours. They'll almost always have a Jolly Pumpkin and a gueuze on tap. The other day I had an interesting tripel/gueuze blend, and an amazing 3.25% Berliner weisse from Hopfenstark (Montreal) that is (secretly?) soured with white raspberries. They consistently have the most interesting beer list in town, in general.
    Map Room also usually has one -- I've had the sourest gueuze of my life there. Small Bar Fullerton, last I was there (about two weeks ago) had hand-labeled bombers from the 3 Floyds brewpub of a sour brown called SoBro that I didn't try. The Green Lady, a newish place on Lincoln, serves Duchesse de Bourgogne.
  • Post #17 - March 27th, 2012, 11:42 am
    Post #17 - March 27th, 2012, 11:42 am Post #17 - March 27th, 2012, 11:42 am
    I'll throw in my $.02 here. Sour beers are a bit of a curiosity and a challenge to many. It seems most people equate them with tasting of vinegar and no depth beyond the sourness. This is telling of a couple of things. Firstly, the primary acid here should be lactic acid. It is softer and less sharp than the other common food acids (mallic (unripe apples), tartaric(wine acidity) & acetic(vinegar). To me, acetic acid has very little, if any, place in beer. It is sharp and somewhat cloying on the palate. Classic Berliner Weisse is all lactic acid (though some new-school versions include Brettanomyces) character with a robust wheat graininess. Hottenroth from the Bruery is pretty fantastic, as is the Bayerischer Bahnhof and the 1809 Berliner Style Weisse. Branching from here (as these are classically low-alcohol beers), you can move into the aforementioned funky farmhouse ales of Fantôme & Jolly Pumpkin. The theory at Jolly Pumpkin is that they brew traditional styles of beer (be it ESB, stout or Saison) and then age them all in their oak barrels for fermentation, inoculating the beers with the house blend of yeasts and bacteria that gives them their character. Fantôme on the other hand, is a bit more whimsical. They are probably the most inconsistent brewery I've experienced from bottle to bottle, but when they hit, they are out of this world. They range from Brett tinged to full on lactic. Beyond these, there is the world of the Flanders Red, with Rodenbach being the standard bearer, offering a strong lactic acidity with notes of cherry and stone fruit from the Brett character. This is basically a very broad range of beers, culminating in beers akin to Liefman's Goudenband, a Flemish Brown ale. Historically, the differentiating character was based on Geography, with Rodenbach coming from Roeselare in West Flanders and Liefman's coming from Oudenarde, in East Flanders. Between the two cities, there is a continuum of Flemish style sour ales, ranging from the sweetened to the dry. The last bit of traditional soured beer is the lambic. There are different organisms at work in this one, creating a more complex beer than the previously mentioned. Not an easy beer to make, it is the quintessential style of beer made in the Pajottenland of Belgium, wildly fermented and carefully aged to the perfect level of maturity. Disregard the Lindeman's fruit lambics as true examples and opt for the beers of Hanssens or Drei Fonteinen (the Schaerbeekse Kriek, while pricey, is amazing), and if you can find it Cantillon. These should be bone dry beers with an added layer of complexity from the fruit.

    I could go on for hours, but if you really are interested, I might also recommend reading Jeff Sparrow's "Wild Brews." Fantastic book about sour and wild fermented beers. Oh, and he's from Chicago~
  • Post #18 - March 27th, 2012, 1:00 pm
    Post #18 - March 27th, 2012, 1:00 pm Post #18 - March 27th, 2012, 1:00 pm
    NobleSquirrel wrote:To me, acetic acid has very little, if any, place in beer. It is sharp and somewhat cloying on the palate.


    Acetic acid is actually the dominant acid flavor in the flanders style beers. Rodenbach, and other flanders beers are known to be vinegary. Though some people may find it sharp and somewhat cloying, Michael Jackson (the beer hunter, not the singer) once said that "rodenbach grand cru is the most refreshing beer in the world". If anyone isn't familiar with Michael Jackson, he has a lot of cred in the beer world.

    Acetic acid is an important flavor to most sour beers. Sometimes it's to a large degree (flanders), in others it's to a small degree (lambic), others very small or none at all, like in berliner weisse, as you noted. Any barrel aged sour beer will have some acetic character, though in some it's balanced so well and you won't be able to pick it out. Even when not prominent or noticeable, it adds complexity, and a roundness to a beer. Though I love berliner weisse, I do find it a bit one dimensional most of the time.

    And, yes, wild brews is a great read. And though it gets a bit technical if you're not a brewer, the sections on drinking vs. brewing are separated well.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #19 - March 27th, 2012, 3:24 pm
    Post #19 - March 27th, 2012, 3:24 pm Post #19 - March 27th, 2012, 3:24 pm
    It's not immediately clear, at least to me, if this entire event at Fountainhead is sold out or just the Bockor Lambic Blending Seminar portion. Via facebook:

    Monday, April 2, 2012
    4:00pm until 11:30pm
    The next in our "It Might Get..." series, this time we are featuring beers with wild yeast (wild ales, lambics, sours, etc.). Unlike conventional ales and lagers, which are fermented by carefully cultivated strains of brewer’s yeasts, lambics and other wild yeast beers are sometimes produced by spontaneous fermentation: it is exposed to the wild yeasts and bacteria that are said to be native to the Senne Valley in Belgium. It is this unusual process that gives the beer its distinctive flavor: dry, vinous, and cidery, usually with a sour and/or funky aftertaste.

    This might just be our wildest “It Might Get…” yet! Mark your calendar, come early, take the next day off work, and bring some antacids.

    Bockor - Cuvee des Jacobins Rouge
    Allagash - Old HLT
    New Belgium - Clutch
    Victory - Wild Devil
    New Holland - Blue Sunday
    Dogfish Head - Noble Rot
    Evil Twin - Ron & The Beast Ryan
    Jolly Pumpkin - Noel de Calabaza
    Cisco Brewers - Monomoy Kriek
    Petrus - Aged Pale
    Allagash/New Belgium - Vrienden
    Stillwater - Premium
    Two Brothers - Askew
    New Belgium - La Terrior
    Brouwerij Timmermans - Bourgogne Des Flandres
    Hitachino - 3 Days
    Oude Gueuze Tilquin à L'Ancienne
    Anderson Valley - Gatlin Damnosus
    Jolly Pumpkin - Maracaibo
    Stillwater - Bri-Witter Weisse
    Vicardin Tripel Gueuze
    Cisco Brewers - Lady of the Woods

    and maybe a couple more treats...

    Like a Bockor Lambic Blending Seminar

    Bockor is an intriguing, historic, and rare place. It's one of the few remaining breweries in the world to practice all three main fermentation styles: top (or ale), bottom (or lager) and spontaneous (or sour). In this seminar, Adam Schulte of Artisanal Imports will lead you through a tasting of the remarkable spontaneously-fermented sour beers of Bockor. You will taste five distinct blends of young (jong) and old (oude) lambic. Both beers are made from the same wort but one is spontaneously fermented and aged for 18 months in giant oaken barrels (foeders). Taste for yourself the effect that acidity has on your palate and experience beautiful aged lambic as it tastes straight from the barrel. The final beer in our tasting will be the exceptional Cuvée des Jacobins Rouge, Bockor's Flanders Sour Ale.
    http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/236550
    best,
    dan
  • Post #20 - March 27th, 2012, 7:38 pm
    Post #20 - March 27th, 2012, 7:38 pm Post #20 - March 27th, 2012, 7:38 pm
    Apparently the event is sold out.
  • Post #21 - March 27th, 2012, 7:58 pm
    Post #21 - March 27th, 2012, 7:58 pm Post #21 - March 27th, 2012, 7:58 pm
    I don't want to speak for Phil or the Fountainhead but my experience is that the "It Might Get . . ." series is where they load up the taps with that night's theme and the public is welcome. I would guess the tickets are for the Bockor event which will most likely be held in the back room. I would say contact them to be sure, but if you are a sour beer fan this will be the place to be on Monday.
  • Post #22 - March 27th, 2012, 8:28 pm
    Post #22 - March 27th, 2012, 8:28 pm Post #22 - March 27th, 2012, 8:28 pm
    jessnate wrote:I don't want to speak for Phil or the Fountainhead but my experience is that the "It Might Get . . ." series is where they load up the taps with that night's theme and the public is welcome. I would guess the tickets are for the Bockor event which will most likely be held in the back room. I would say contact them to be sure, but if you are a sour beer fan this will be the place to be on Monday.


    This is definitely true, the taps are open for business, just like any night. The event postings (and what danimalarkey copy/pasted) seems very clear that the tickets for sale were for the bockor blending seminar.
    Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

    -Mark Twain
  • Post #23 - April 4th, 2012, 7:13 pm
    Post #23 - April 4th, 2012, 7:13 pm Post #23 - April 4th, 2012, 7:13 pm
    The only thing I have to add here is that, since your buddy is from the "left coast" he should have access to Russian River, who makes some of the best sour beers in the US. Any of the "-ation" beers would be great, i.e. Damnation, Supplication, Consecration, etc. Have him seek them out....and then send you some.
  • Post #24 - April 5th, 2012, 11:41 am
    Post #24 - April 5th, 2012, 11:41 am Post #24 - April 5th, 2012, 11:41 am
    Re: the Sour Beer event this past Monday at Fountainhead, as of last night, there are still many of them available on tap. I think at least 8, possibly more. There were some really interesting selections, as were posted above. If you're into sours and you missed Monday's event, you should make a point of getting over there asap because for most of them, when they're gone, they're gone.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #25 - April 7th, 2012, 6:07 pm
    Post #25 - April 7th, 2012, 6:07 pm Post #25 - April 7th, 2012, 6:07 pm
    My personal take on the few I've tried from the above recommendations:
    Jolly Pumpkin "La Roja" - too hoppy for me. It definitely was not like IPA hoppy, but it had a slightly bitter finish that I did not care for.

    Petrus Golden Ale "Grand Reserve" - definitely more my style. Not bitter, not sweet. Fruity but a dry finish leaving a sour taste with a tang. Better with every sip. Definitely drier than the Douchesse.

    I scored about ten bottles to try so far. Just keeping my own personal notes here.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #26 - May 6th, 2012, 11:46 pm
    Post #26 - May 6th, 2012, 11:46 pm Post #26 - May 6th, 2012, 11:46 pm
    I first tried a sour beer a few years ago while on a brewery tour at New Belgium and since then I've been trying as many as I can. The beers mentioned here are all great suggestions.

    I just wanted to give an extra thumbs up to a couple local sour offerings mentioned above. The Madame Rose is my favorite of the Goose Island "Three Sisters" sours. It's aged with cherries in wine barrels and it's awesome. Last year's Askew from Two Brothers was fantastic and I recently had a bottle of New Holland's Blue Sunday Sour that I really enjoyed.

    If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.
  • Post #27 - May 7th, 2012, 12:07 am
    Post #27 - May 7th, 2012, 12:07 am Post #27 - May 7th, 2012, 12:07 am
    kenneymarlatt wrote:. . . I recently had a bottle of New Holland's Blue Sunday Sour that I really enjoyed.

    Yes! I really enjoy this one. I've had it a few times recently and think it's particularly food-friendly.

    And welcome to LTH. :)

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #28 - May 7th, 2012, 10:24 am
    Post #28 - May 7th, 2012, 10:24 am Post #28 - May 7th, 2012, 10:24 am
    Speaking of Goose Island's Three Sisters, I don't know if anyone had trouble locating Juliet this year, but Galleria Market in River North (340 W. Superior) had a fair amount when I was in there last week, priced at $19.99. Evolution Wines & Spirits (1704 N. Milwaukee) in Wicker Park had some, as well, for $18.99. Both places had plenty of Lolita, too, but that one didn't seem nearly as difficult to track down this year. No word on Madame Rose this year, as far as I'm aware -- which is a shame, since it's my favorite, too.
    best,
    dan
  • Post #29 - May 10th, 2012, 7:18 pm
    Post #29 - May 10th, 2012, 7:18 pm Post #29 - May 10th, 2012, 7:18 pm
    The liquor store under the Sheridan Red Line stop had plenty of Juliet this afternoon. It was either $16.99 or $17.99. They also had plenty of Lolita. (One was $16 and the other $17 but I can't remember which was which.)
  • Post #30 - June 13th, 2012, 9:52 am
    Post #30 - June 13th, 2012, 9:52 am Post #30 - June 13th, 2012, 9:52 am
    Had the Lips of Faith - Tart Lychee on tap at Piece a few weeks back and really enjoyed it.

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more